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By Mark Bell | December 15, 2012

Nathan (Jeremy Saville) has recently gotten engaged to Julia (Kelly Sullivan), and he’s feeling great about it. At least he was, until his friends scared him into thinking that maybe he and Julia might wind up as a sad, divorced couple one day. Needing to remove all doubts from his mind, Nathan decides to put his fiancé through a test, to see if she’ll stay faithful to him.

And despite having an extremely good-looking actor pretend to be rich while hitting on her, Julia stays committed to her man. Unfortunately, once the ball of doubt gets rolling, it seldom stops, and Nathan begins coming up with increasingly disturbing and convoluted tests to see if Julia is indeed the one for him. Of course, little good can come of such behavior.

The Test takes pre-marital paranoia to the extreme. Jeremy Saville, who also wrote and directed the film, plays the obsessive Nathan to just the right level of obnoxious. Had he gone too far over the line, the film would be less funny and more creepy. As it is, it’s humorous with a side dish of sadness.

I mean, in all of Nathan’s testing, he essentially becomes the worst person anyone would want to marry. While trying to see if Julia is good enough and committed enough to him, he’s lying all over the place. The scenarios do have their humor, sure, but eventually you just start to feel sad for Julia.

On the filmmaking side of things, the film is pretty on-point. Some scenes are a little dark for my tastes, but generally the cinematography does its job well and the film looks good. The performances are solid, the writing strong and the pacing tight.

People do horrible things in the name of fear, and in the name of love, and The Test gives us just one situation of the two working together to create something truly complicated and awkward. In the end, I found the film to be competently made, acted and written. I found little I could really point to and say, “That… I didn’t really enjoy that.”

Still, I didn’t find the film to be incredible or anything like that either; it’s just a good, solid film that hits all the notes right. Which happens; sometimes you see a good film, but you just don’t connect with it as much as you would expect when you look back on it.

This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.

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